Although 2013 is coming to an end, 75 percent of workers have not used all of their vacation time as of the end of November, according to a new survey by Adecco Staffing US.
The survey also finds that 36 percent of respondents receive at least three weeks of vacation time a year, and 44 percent of respondents would gladly take another week or two of vacation time. Twenty-two percent of respondents report that they would like at least three more weeks of vacation time.
"It's interesting that many workers are not taking advantage of their available vacation days for the year yet are hungry for more time off," says Joyce Russell of Adecco Staffing. "Managers should encourage an environment that supports a work-life balance through time outside the office. By developing a plan to ensure that all business needs are being met in the workplace while co-workers are out, there's no reason that staff shouldn't be taking their days."
Respondents might have available vacation days, but they are saving them for other uses. In fact, 47 percent of respondents say they use sick days as vacation days, and 72 percent of respondents are onto this move as they say they believe colleagues have taken sick days when they are not ill. Twenty-six percent of respondents also say they have taken bereavement days as vacation days, and 27 percent of respondents have vacationed using jury duty days.
Men are more likely than women to take bereavement days at 34 percent versus 18 percent as well as jury duty days at 40 percent versus 11 percent. While 29 percent of respondents report feeling upset when their co-workers take off multiple long weekends, 23 percent of respondents believe their colleagues judge them when they take off from work.
"There seem to be so many stipulations about taking vacation days, some self-inflicted and some by colleagues," Russell says. "The important thing to remember is why we have vacation days in the first place — to give us time to relax, recharge and enjoy our lives so that we can be even more productive and successful in our work. It ultimately gives us the work-life balance we all want and need."